FOCUS: SOFA – 2012. Like a Virgin. Ohh, Ohh. Touched For The Very First Time.







Views: 337

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks, Stevie and Tabitha! An excellent and amusingly bitchy guide...

I can't believe you quoted Madonna.

Dauvit, what do you think the 'B' in Stevie B. stands for .....

Stevie, Just came across an article mirroring your sentiment:


http://www.artsjournal.com/realcleararts/2012/04/sofa-tries-to-mix-...

The 15th annual Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair — aka SOFA NEW YORK – opens tomorrow at the Park Avenue Armory, but the preview was tonight, and I went. It’s interesting, and I use the adjective purposefully. Only one booth really stood out.

The organizers mixed it up this year, hiring architect David Ling to create a different ambiance — and he did. Visitors enter through a white tunnel, and come upon an open area with seating and, tonight, a bar and a table of nibbles. A few booths hug the drill hall’s perimeter behind the entrance and the rest are on a grid with both vertical and horizonal aisles. White sculptural elements (floating blocks, I think they are called) are hung from the ceiling, effectively lowering it.

All of this creates a more intimately scaled space, although one dealer I spoke with said the booths are the same size as last year’s. To him, and me, they feel smaller.  He wasn’t sure he liked this feeling, but he told me he would reserve judgment until Saturday, to see how collectors felt. (He did not know I was a reporter, so I am not naming him.)

But clearly SOFA realizes that fairs are proliferating, and was trying to differentiate itself. Normally, that’s a good move for a business, so long as customers don’t rebel against it (think New Coke, if you’re old enough). I wouldn’t predict a rebellion here.

But what’s at the fair – again, it’s mixed. I saw no “masterpiece,” no breakthrough in craft, but rather a lot of very routine offerings that everyone has seen a million times before. In a few cases, people one might well imagine that they were in an upmarket gift store and, in one case of jewelry, a local crafts fair.

For the rest of it, click on the link above.

Beneath the snarky humor (love it, thank you Stevie) lies a current of truth. The same thread shows up in the Arts Journal article, namely "sameness". This can also be interpreted as a an aversion to risk taking. Considering the cost of these shows, and and financial risk to the artists participating in them, artists seem to be playing it safe. Either that, or we have collectively lost our creative edge. I sincerely doubt that, judging by what I see here on Crafthaus.

The real truth to all of this will be in the sales figures. Do the buyers share the critic's jaded eye? Odds are they don't. Safety in sameness is a pattern that plays out time and time again in creative markets. Not that I am predicting stellar sales at SOFA - quite the opposite. The show organizer's attempts at "differentiating" themselves by changing the draperies is not likely to achieve the desired results. Organizing a different kind of SOFA show will differentiate it. But then we're back to risk taking...

A few photos that didn't get posted.

Dauvit - I know, I know.  I should have posted an anti-Madonna disclaimer.  The song just sort of fit.

Brigitte - It's good to know that other felt the same. Next year we will do the opening night & 1 day at the show.  Tabitha's trying to persuade me into staying in the city for a few days. We live approx 20min away and I would rather drive home and sleep in my own bed. I wonder when she will start her "gently prodding".

2Roses - Humor? What humor? Snarky for sure!

I spoke with one of the gallery owners about "sameness". The gist was that 90% of what he displays, he displays because it has a track record of selling. The other 10% is left for new artists. He said this was pretty common in his circles and that many galleries only deal with known sellers.

Makes sense to me on the business side. The 90/10 strangely is the same amount Stephen King had said book publisher break down known writers/unknowns. And only 10% of those 10% will ever make enough to make a living writing. Of course things may have changed since then but it seems better odds then jewelry artist will ever have making a living at their art.

I also had a brief discussion with another gallery owner about the secondary market for art jewelry which he said is actually growing. I wish I had asked about prices however...Do they hold their value? Decrease? Increase? Oh well, maybe next time.

Yeah, I just checked out the secondary market.  Thomas Mann is tearing it up over on ebay

Nicely done review. Love the shoes but they definitely look painful for walking through SOFA (which may be an apt metaphor.)

Going to SOFA always makes me feel a little queasy.

The wonderful and the not so wonderful are all measured by a price tag.

When value is established by a price tag alone....it is a viewing challenge.

Harriete

 

I always thought this was the norm.  An artist = the price his last piece sold for.

Hmmm. I really enjoyed the show. The past 2 years I had solo shows there through Lyons Wier Gallery, this year I only had 3 pieces shown by Duane Reed Gallery so this year I could relax and didn't need to be there the whole time - a big relief for me! And my 2 larger pieces sold and lotsa buzz was created, so I was delighted! I thought the space was really beautiful and much more comfortable than years past. I'm really sad that there was no catalogue, I always felt that the catalogue was the reason the admission price was so high.

Your right, no catalogue.  I have this small book that says SOFA 2012 and I had mistakenly thought it was a mini-catalogue.  But it's not :( 

2011, last of the real giant sized SOFA catalogues.

Very interesting...Thanks for sharing and the e-mail.  I don't get a chance to go to these shows very often...and it is really nice to see it!!!  Please do more!!!

RSS

Latest Activity

gene pijanowski posted photos
12 hours ago
2Roses commented on Olivia Shih's group Reconstructing Our Second Skin: Gender in Contemporary Jewelry
"Linda, my experience has been the same as your's, but from the other side of the gender bench. When Corliss and I are working the booth, customers who don't know us almost universally assume that she is the maker, and I am the sales help…"
18 hours ago
2Roses joined Olivia Shih's group
Thumbnail

Reconstructing Our Second Skin: Gender in Contemporary Jewelry

In this crafthaus blog, I explore the intersection between gender and jewelry with a three-prong approach: interviewing artists who do not shy away from words like “gender issues,” “feminism,” and “sex”; analyzing the work of said artists and the…See More
19 hours ago
Olivia Shih and Colleen Baran are now friends
yesterday
Colleen Baran liked Rachel Suzanne Smith's photo
yesterday
Brigitte Martin posted a blog post

Altered Wooden Books WORKSHOP with Daniel Essig May 13-15, 2016

The Society for Contemporary Craft Pittsburgh, is happy to welcome visiting…See More
yesterday
Profile IconColleen Baran, Jessica Todd and 10 other members joined Olivia Shih's group
Thumbnail

Reconstructing Our Second Skin: Gender in Contemporary Jewelry

In this crafthaus blog, I explore the intersection between gender and jewelry with a three-prong approach: interviewing artists who do not shy away from words like “gender issues,” “feminism,” and “sex”; analyzing the work of said artists and the…See More
Thursday
gene pijanowski posted photos
Wednesday
Andrew Kuebeck is now friends with Lyndsay Rice, Jacqueline Elisabeth Perry and Olivia Shih
Wednesday
Brigitte Martin commented on Olivia Shih's group Reconstructing Our Second Skin: Gender in Contemporary Jewelry
"Now I want to see a picture of you with a feather duster in your hand, Linda. That would totally make my day. Just kidding :)"
Wednesday
Linda Kaye-Moses commented on Olivia Shih's group Reconstructing Our Second Skin: Gender in Contemporary Jewelry
"My work has not specifically, and really only once or twice been focused on gender issues. I have contemplated more specifically the empowerment I feel that comes from messing about with metals and the tools needed to mess about with metals. My…"
Wednesday
Jan Smith liked Brigitte Martin's discussion (9) Artist Selection, Jurying Process, Criticism
Wednesday

Masthead Credits

Rachel Suzanne Smith, Stow, OH

Primrose Ruff

Waterjet cut aluminum, powder coat.

© 2016   Created by Brigitte Martin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service